ELECAM approves 21 as presidential candidates

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Election officials say 21 candidates have qualified to run for president in Cameroon.

Election board chief Samuel Fonkam Azu’u said late Friday that 30 applications were rejected from the 51 aspirants who filed to run. An additional candidate was rejected for filing late.

Longtime president Paul Biya will again face opposition leader John Fru Ndi in the West African nation’s Oct. 9 poll. Biya beat him in 2004.

Biya has been president since 1982 and is considered one of Africa’s remaining strongmen. He changed the constitution so he can run again this year.

Cameroon’s parliament in July adopted a law allowing citizens living overseas to vote in the election, a move that could step up pressure on Biya. The government estimates that as many as 5 million Cameroonians reside abroad.

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